Having heard wonderful things from my favorite local chef/part-time food reviewer (Reif Othman), I knew I had to bump Lowe to the top of my Dubai review list (currently, with 38 restaurants – yikes!). Although a bit of a challenge to get to (let’s face it, the Al Barari neighborhood isn’t close to anyone in the city, and more or less supposes that you have a car), I will advise that there is plenty of parking on site, and that really, now and then, it’s okay to make a trip with a singular destination (especially if that location is related to good food). While there is no alcohol license currently available at Lowe, one has been applied for and in the meantime, you can always enjoy the freshly brewed kombucha and other mocktails.
The exterior of the building Lowe is located in is an unexpected, modern structure. Inside, with covers capped at around 75 (thank you!), seating feels intimate in the mostly wooden decor. Walking by pass-through to the (mostly) open plan kitchen, we’re seated close to a window and immediately begin pouring over the menu. With a sharing style approach, there are plenty of options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Having already peeked at the what was available online, I knew my first order would be for Wood Fired Bread, AED30 served with dip. Because I love dips of many kinds, I also couldn’t pass up the Whipped Aubergine, AED21. The still-warm-from-the-fire bread is, to die for, and the salty brininess of the bottarga is exceedingly moreish. Similarly, the aubergine (served with ancient grains for the perfect amount of texture) and a still warm flatbread is also the kind of dish you go back to again and again. I think both starters were easily split between two people and could accommodate for a third. As much as I wanted to like the Smoked Organic Beef Tartare, AED58, I craved a bit more depth and fattiness overall. I think it’s because as diners in Dubai we’re spoiled for some fantastic tartare, so I judge a bit more critically than others. Would I order it again? Probably.
Moving onto the salads, we ordered the Crispy Endive, AED45, as well as the Charred Cauliflower, AED48, both of which absolutely delivered in taste and presentation. We also received a bonus dish, the Baby Cap Mushrooms, AED54. The endive was my favorite of the group. This deceptively simple dish was well executed, and a tie for my favorite dish of the evening (along with the wood-fired bread). If I’m not mistaken, I believe it’s also vegan (sunflower seed cream, anyone?). The cauliflower was a substantial portion and would be easily split between four people. The most surprising (and welcome) part, for me at least, was the golden raisin chimmi. The sweetness of the raisins was a perfect play against the char on the cauliflower. Perhaps the most beautifully plated dish of our visit to Lowe was the mushrooms. Earthy, and filling (aged beef fat, what?), the portion size, like the other salads, can be split a number of ways. Sharing concept FTW.
Our hero dish was the House Aged Beef, AED149. Served with broccoli bearnaise and wasabi, the perfectly cooked medium rare cut was an instant hit. Another beautifully plated (and not just any plates, but hand made plates from Australia that I seriously considered taking), my only note would be to amp up the ingriedients. I was expecting more of a punch from the wasabi, and didn’t quite taste the uniqueness of tarragon, so I think pushing the flavors could only enhance the dish. Still, the beef is so tender that we weren’t even given steak knives.
As a final course, which I selected to act mostly as a palate cleanser, was the Frozen Meringue, AED57. While the price might seem a bit high, the portion is massive. I appreciated the citrus notes from the yuzu and punch from the sour apple. Much like the rest of the menu, I would happily order our dessert again.
As a comparison in the Dubai market, I’d say Lowe falls in the same category as Folly by Nick and Scott, SLAB, or Kizmet for the closest venues. Pricing seems very competitive at Lowe, especially given the quality of food being served. I think one of the biggest strengths I see was the approach to the menu at Lowe – it was clear (much like the other restaurants I’ve listed), that unqiue offers are included. In addition, I appreciated plenty of small touches — Chef Kate was personally overseeing the dining room, going from table to table, which meant a lot to me. From the imported Australian plates and bowls, to a suitable soundtrack, all these details add up to a successful venue.
Would I go back to Lowe? Yup! While breakfast and a menu which changes seasonally both sound delightful, I might hold out my next visit for when alcohol is available, as to better enhance my experience.
Who is Lowe best for? Really, anyone. We saw a range of families present, but sincerely, Lowe is for anyone looking for good food, or a chill workspace. The restaurant offers a place to linger.
A to Za’atar was a guest of Lowe. Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.
Yes, Al Barari is far, but the food is worth the drive. Looking forward to the venue getting it’s alcohol license.